We have been gifted the expression of ourselves in the person of Jesus Christ. We have this inheritance that is ours – a life live in space and time as the expression of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are alive in the surpassing reality of what it means to be persons: The family of God. So why settle for the outlook of a slave or a worker?
Why live in the shadow of the real when you can flourish in the reality?
A Law Mentality insulates us from Jesus and from each other. It leaves us in the limbo of the knowledge of good and evil but separates us from the life of God and the real life of each other. One who gets an identity from Jesus is more herself and more able to be at one with others than one whose identity comes from a program of behaviors. Those who have the Son have life. Those who do not have the son do not. But what they do have is a body of death. What do you want? To be dragging about a body of death or to be ignited by Christ your life?
‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ Rom 7.24,25 NIV.
The law can alert us to sin and delineate unrighteousness. But it cannot give life. Death comes by the law. Life comes from Jesus. Christ is entirely our life. The law is none of our life because it has no life at all. We can competently minster the kingdom of life that is the new covenant or we can engage in the ministry of dead folks talking captured in the old and dead way. As sincere as old covenant ministry may be it is never the ministry of Christ’s Kingdom of life.
‘Jesus resurrection inaugurated the Church of the Firstborn. Old covenant ministry is the ministry of the unborn.’
We need to ensure that Christ alone is our life; that the person of Jesus is entirely our life and that the name of Christ and ‘Christian living’ is not a cover-all for the fact that we actually live in the law and the other law of ‘all the things we think that Christian should do.’
Life and righteousness is the manifestation of Christ as us. In the Spirit each of us is an expression of Jesus. The community of those expressing Jesus is the church and this kind of church is the Kingdom of God. The genuine Body of Christ is the community for whom Christ is life because He has come in their flesh to manifest Himself through them.
We are the Body of Christ when we are the manifestation of His person. Misplaced grace and religious sentimentality may claim that all Christians are the Body of Christ. Potentially we are because His Body is His gift to us. But we need to live in the reality He has created. We are not part of His body in fact if we are living in a mindset of separation. The reality is Christ. Truth and life in the Spirit is the manifestation of Christ come in the flesh of the Believer and the church. We are the Body when Christ is our life. We are part of Jesus because He is our life.
Bonface Odhiambo writes In The Eyes of Grace. “It's unfortunate how the devil has succeeded in blindfolding many people today who are still held captive in observing the laws of Moses thinking they will please God or earn the favor of God. The law's purpose was to do the opposite, to make us sinners, empower sin, revive sin, reveal sin, bring curses and bring wrath. Religion has reduced many of us to be observers in our Christian walk. We only admire the life of God from the scriptures but fail to enjoy it because religion has put a stumbling block of the laws of Moses on our way.”
Why live in the shadow when you can live in the reality? An immersion in a law-culture warps our view of who Christ is for us. Jesus our life is never the law. Living Christianity is a version of it. Kingdom life is not an attachment to a matrix of behaviors. It is Christ’s life as ours. This is the incarnation and Christ come in our flesh. Miss this and we have missed the entire gospel of the Kingdom.
SUBTLE SHADOWS OF THE REAL
We can find ourselves living in a law-culture because we live from religion. We can manifest a law-culture because we actually live from Moses and legalism. The most subtle kind of law culture is living from religion - which is to live from the knowledge of good and evil. But the Kingdom of God is not a kingdom of performance. It is a Kingdom of life.
‘Keeping close to Jesus’ is a version of the law. We have no more hope of keeping close to Jesus than keeping any aspect of the law. A law-culture can be obvious or subtle. If this is what we are living from we will subvert even Jesus to our project of ‘law-thought’ and ‘self-talk.’ The self-effort inherent in ‘keeping close to Jesus’ is as discouraging and depleting of life as any old testament law. It comes from a law marinated mindset. We will have no more success in ‘keeping close to Jesus’ than we will be successful in keeping Moses laws. This is a new testament re-surfacing of law keeping and it is generated from the spirit of anti-christ.
JESUS APPLIES TO ALL!
‘In a recent essay David Torrance notes that a knowledge of the vicarious humanityof Jesus, "is crucial to our understanding of Christ and of Scripture" ( He shows that the eternal Son of God, through whom all things were created and have their being, became human in the person of Jesus Christ. In his humanity (while remaining divine), Jesus is the representative and substitute for all humanity. Thus what happened (and continues to happen) to Jesus, applies to us all.’
Christ is your life. He lives in you and with you. He does this, not because of you and anything you have done but because of Him. Today God is incarnated in your being. You are no longer a body of death or a channel of non-life. You are alive and you multiply spirit and life.